The event will feature 20 experts on 19th century matters ranging from making butter to politics.

FARMINGTON – Nineteenth century life in northern New England is the focus of a humanities conference this week at the University of Maine at Farmington.

The event, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 5 to 7, will feature 20 experts on 19th century matters ranging from making butter to politics. The 11th annual conference is supported in part by the Maine Humanities Council. The conference begins at 1 p.m. Thursday with registration and ends with a noon luncheon on Saturday.

Billie Gammon, longtime organizer of the conference, said each presenter will be given 25 minutes to talk about his or her topic followed by discussion and questions from the audience.

Presenter Gwilym Roberts, a retired UMF professor, will discuss “High Crimes and Minor Misdemeanors – Some Thoughts on 19th Century Church Discipline.”

A well-known storyteller, Jo Radner, professor emerita at American University, has as her subject “A Very Mirthful and Pleasing Manner: Literary Skills in Rural New England.”

Professors Gary Schmidt and Oerard Fondse Jr. of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., will share a session “Reaching to New England’s Past.” Schmidt’s topic will be “Hannah Adams, Recasting the Past for the Revolutionary Future.” Fondse will speak on “Living Deliberately: A Course that Reaches to the Past to Recast the Future.”

“Buried Diversity: Recovering a Lost African-American Community in Machias, Maine” is the subject of a panel discussion presented by professors of history, English, and anthropology from the University of Maine at Machias: Karen Kimball, Marcus LiBrizzi and Michael Kimball.

Other speakers include Kerck Kelsey telling the story of his great-great-grandfather, Maine-born Cadwallader Colden Washburn, who became the Minneapolis miller producing Gold Medal flour, and Stephanie Kermes of Boston College speaking on “Separation for the Nation: The Movement for Maine’s Statehood.”

Saturday sessions will include ‘”You Couldn’t Hardly Cut It with a Knife: Women, Butter and Technology” by Nancy Alexander, University of Maine, and “Illness, Hospitalization, and Morbidity of 19th Century Women in Lewiston, Maine” by Susan Hudson of Catholic University of America.

Maine author Mary Morton Cowan of Standish will present “Trees to Logs: An Overview of Logging Skills in 19th Century Northern New England” on Friday afternoon.

Evening programs are at 7:30 p.m.

Scheduled for Thursday are the Franklin County Fiddlers under the direction of Steven Muise. Friday evening’s speaker will be author Elizabeth A. De Wolfe who will discuss her book “Shaking the Faith: Women, Family” and Mary Marshall Dyer’s “Anti-Shaker Campaign, 1815-1867.” It traces the life and anti-Shaker campaign of Mary Dyer who joined the Enfield, N.H. Shakers with her husband and children in 1813.

De Wolfe is associate professor of American Studies at the University of New England, Biddeford.

All programs are open to the public and people may attend the entire conference or any part of it. Registration for the entire conference is $15. Evening programs are free of charge. Use the South Street entrance to the Olsen Student Center.

Luncheons and dinners are priced and require advance reservations. For meal reservations phone Bonnie Frost at 778-7277 or e-mail her at [email protected]

For program information phone Billie Gammon at 897-2236.


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